X-Mart tries new question in court fight

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If the businessmen trying to open Augusta's only adult video store want to know why strip clubs can operate within city limits while they cannot, they need the judge's permission to add the question to their legal attack, the federal magistrate said Friday.

Augusta Video, the owners of X-Mart Adult Supercenter, has been battling the city in court since its attempt to open a Gordon Highway store was blocked by commissioners in 2002.

Last year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city's efforts to keep the business out through changes in its zoning ordinances were wrong, saying the X-Mart was entitled to the grandfather exception to regulation.

U.S. Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr., whose decision was overturned, issued an order last summer that allowed the attorneys to continue the discovery process as it applied to X-Mart's compliance with setback requirements.

Knowing Judge Bowen's precise use of language, Magistrate Judge W. Leon Barfield said, he understands the order to mean the attorneys could only deal with the issue of the store's proximity to certain protected areas, such as a school.

X-Mart attorney Gary S. Eddinger told the magistrate he believes existing adult businesses aren't conforming to city ordinances, and he suspects they don't have business licenses.

"Why is there different treatment?" Mr. Eddinger asked.

Attorney James Wall, who is representing the city, told the magistrate he objects to questions about other adult businesses in Augusta. He said he believes Judge Bowen's order limited future inquiries to X-Mart's setback issues and that the new line of questioning is muddling the issues of the case.

Judge Barfield suggested Mr. Eddinger file a motion requesting permission to explore the possible issue of equal treatment of adult businesses.

No motion had been filed by the end of the day Friday.

The federal appeals court ruled in June that the city couldn't use its zoning rules to keep X-Mart out of business.

When X-Mart's owners tried to get a business license and adult entertainment permit, the city denied the request. The licensing rules restrict where adult businesses can operate, the city contends.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 01/24/09 - 04:01 am
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The X Mart is appropriately

The X Mart is appropriately located away from a neighborhood while Mercy Ministries is in the middle of a neighborhood. This is insanity. Support www.hongkongaugustaga.org

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/24/09 - 07:51 am
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Middie just doesn't like the

Middie just doesn't like the color of the homeless in his neighborhood (always talking about Black/White this). And that link makes it like he'll prefer that other thugs should come in an take over the neighborhood, too (much like China did to Hong Kong). But on this topic: If Augusta has strip joints downtown, why not add the adult bookstore there? They're no different, as it's the skin trade each is selling. Sooner than later, Augusta will have to address the skin trade issue downtown too, especially if they wish to develop it, as it sure doesn't add value to property (after all, that area of town is where the hookers also roam -- the "red light" district). Tell us, if any major chain that's not into the "intimate" market would prefer opening a business next to that, too?

juantez
190
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juantez 01/24/09 - 07:55 am
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How much money have this cost

Unpublished

How much money have this cost the people of RC?
Fighting this is a waste of the tax payer's money in the end he will be able to open his store, so stop the fight.
JUST A THOUGHT

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 01/24/09 - 09:24 am
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nosmokeandmirrors You have no

nosmokeandmirrors You have no brain.

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 01/24/09 - 09:33 am
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SandyK2005...Good point. How

SandyK2005...Good point. How many escort services are listed in the Augusta phone book? Someone please count them. I don't have a real yellow pages book. Sandy2005 has a great point. Take it a steap further. Why would business men come to Augusta repeatedly to go the Augusta Musiam ? It is common knowledge that business men like to play. What the river walk really needs is a gambling casino and high class strip clubs. Business people whould be comming to Augusta in droves.

SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 01/24/09 - 09:34 am
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A riverboad casino would

A riverboad casino would benefit GA and SC. and I would be there watching the miserable fools throw away their money while I take advantage of the grand buffets and entertainment!

GnipGnop
10941
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GnipGnop 01/24/09 - 12:02 pm
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Sandy who are you pointing

Sandy who are you pointing the finger at? You are always talking about black/white too! Let the X-mart open quit wasting tax dollars fighting it. The only reason it's not open is because commisioners cannot save face and vote for it too.

Little Lamb
40104
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Little Lamb 01/24/09 - 12:05 pm
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Call your commissioner and

Call your commissioner and tell him/her to settle the lawsuit and grant the business license. A video store on Gordon Hwy. would not be the end of this city as we know it!

GuyIncognito
1
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GuyIncognito 01/24/09 - 12:47 pm
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Riverboat casino in Augusta?!

Riverboat casino in Augusta?! What a great idea! I would be glad to shift more of my tax burden to the lower class as they gamble away their meager salaries in hopes of a big win.

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/24/09 - 01:20 pm
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"What the river walk really

"What the river walk really needs is a gambling casino and high class strip clubs. Business people whould be comming to Augusta in droves." ---- So you and the other "holy rollers" can blow all your money to join those homeless guys you're complaining about. Brilliant, Middie, Brilliant idea! Nothing like AA for the homeless population, they need white men, too!!

sprintman
0
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sprintman 01/24/09 - 03:19 pm
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Sargent mid thats a good

Sargent mid thats a good idea. Casinos on the river walk is a wonderful idea for the city to long into. The high end strip clubs im not really for. As most major cities in america already have plenty of them. But let x-mart come to the city. The battle against them is a lost cause.

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